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More About Choosing a Subtitle by Mary Deal

The first advice is to try for the main title to say what your story is about. Use of a subtitle would be to further delineate the plot or entice a reader. Then you will need an revealing bit of information for the subtitle.
To decide on a good subtitle:
~ Does it tell what that story’s about? When your title doesn’t say enough about your story, be careful that you don’t choose a subtitle that is just as non-telling. The title of my short story and flash collection is Off Center in the Attic. The attic refers to the mind and the phrase is jargon. It suits the types of stories included in the book, but many people will not realize the true meaning – even though my cover shows a disturbed woman in a crumbling attic pulling out her hair. So I added a subtitle: Off Center in the Attic – Over the Top Stories. Everyone knows what over-the-top implies. That subtitle says this book is full of stories that go beyond the usual boundaries of plot situations.
Your subtitle must add to your title and f…

Choosing a Subtitle by Mary Deal

Sometimes you can conjure what you think is the best title ever for your book. No one has used that title and there is nothing close to it in all of literature. Then, after a while, you begin to wonder if your great title covers all that your book entails. You search for a new title but always return to the one you first chose. It is that good! So you begin to wonder about using a subtitle. Subtitles used to be seen as a way to enhance a weak title. However, at the writing of this article, the consensus is that utilizing a subtitle provides a great chance to tell more about your book. Use a subtitle, realizing however, that some titles will never need a subtitle.
What subtitle would you add to Gone with the Wind or The Old Man and the Sea?
Peruse book selling sites and notice any recent books that have no subtitles. Notice those that use subtitles. You will get a feel for when to use and when not to use. Usually a title will tell the overall feeling or story without giving away any exact …

The Effect of Titles by Mary Deal

Your story title is the first word or words a person sees when looking for a book to read. Yes, they see the cover, but the title is the first bit of information they read. What if your title is...
uninteresting a bit offensive similar to so many others doesn’t give a clue about the plot
Those are just a few instances where an author can lose a sale before the book is opened for perusal; before the prospective buyer flips the book to read the back cover. In selecting either paper books to buy or eBooks to download, we can now read a percentage of the book, either the first few chapters or we can jump to various pages therein. When perusing sites that offer downloadable books, the same problems occur in identifying about which story to learn more. If a title and cover on that site doesn’t appeal to you, do you bother to read the blurbs describing the eBook? Do you read the first chapters that have been made available in an attempt to capture your interest? Many writers do not think through th…

SHY BLONDIE by Patricia Crandall

In the first heavy snow of the season, perhaps agitated by a full November moon, BLONDIE lured by the call of the wild so natural to her husky breed, sprinted away. As I donned my winter garb and searched for her, all tracks were obliterated by light, fleecy flakes. Robins not yet flying south were noncommittal.A migration of geese cried out overhead obliviously.Still, I knew Blondie would curl up shyly at the back door. On the third day,

Creating Your Story Title

Something writers of multiple stories will experience: Titles may come to you in a flash. Some will take a bit of thinking through. Say you’ve written your first and only story thus far. You may feel you have a great title for that one piece of prose. However, caution should be taken due to lack of experience in titles. You can only know how easy or how difficult choosing a title will be after you’ve written a few stories. For the person who writes many stories or many books, again, choosing a title may come easy, or it may be one of the most difficult aspects of writing. Some writers are unable to start a story unless they have a great title lined up. Then, with that title in mind, they set out to write, only to change the title once they see where the plot and characters lead them. Some authors cannot title a story till it’s written and rewritten for the umpteenth time. Then they decide. Whatever your preference, titles are just as important as the overall story itself. Your book will fir…

Writing Rules by Mary Deal

Writing rules are part of our free lesson plans to help you build an ever-growing repertoire of prose that has been published. You can make money writing. You’ll need published prose and much more being readied for submission in order to call yourself a writer. Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to help aspirants over some stumbling blocks all writers face, whether you write short stories or novels, even nonfiction.
Do – write regardless what people may think. Write for yourself first. Set your muse free. Be driven. Write like your life depends on it. Don’t –  worry what other people may think about your personal writing rules and habits. Avoid hearing negative comments—unless it’s a critique you have sought out. You write because something inside prompts you to do so.
Do – let your friends know that you are writing and it’s the reason you’re not around much. Don’t – share the details of your stories with even your best friends because one negative remark, or a suggestion to do this or that a di…